Five Songs With Deceptive French Titles

Music Lists

To make a sweeping generalization, certain Americans have never been huge fans of the French. Things worsened after 9/11, and faster than you could say “freedom fries,” many people were boycotting anything that even seemed even slightly related to the country. But this didn’t deter some bands—from France, Montreal or the U.S.—from showing a little (deserved) francophone pride in their music. Below are five songs with French titles and English lyrics to help you support anglo-franco friendliness:

“Une Année Sans Lumière,” Arcade Fire
Has a French title about:
A year without light.
Has English lyrics about: Enigmatic shadows, darkness and an unperceptive father. There are also some complementing French lyrics, and while expressions about the aforementioned things may not come in handy in many conversations, listening to this song is a lot cheaper (and overall more enjoyable) than Rosetta Stone.

“Un Dernier Verre (Pour La Route),” Beirut
Has a French title about: Having another drink for the road.
Has English lyrics about: Loopy connections between time and love, with opening bars that sound like a jazzed-up Peanuts theme song.

“À L’orée des Bois,” Plants and Animals
Has a French title about:
The edge of the woods.
Has English lyrics about: Making Parc Avenue, the record on which the song appears.

“Couleurs,” M83
Has a French title about:
Has English lyrics about: Colors, sort of. There are only two lines in the whole song (“Chasing colors in my tears / I need yourself”) that are more like ghost-like wails than real singing.

“J’aime Vous Voir Quitter,” Islands
Has a French title about:
Wanting to see someone leave.
Has English lyrics about: How that someone is an evil, calculating, violent excuse for a human being.

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